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I45.1:914/APP.8 



Clemson University 





DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE 

BUREAU OF FISHERIES 

HUGH M. SMITH, Commissioner 



3 1604 019 782 06 



THE FISHES OF THE YELLOWSTONE 
NATIONAL PARK 



By W* C Kendall 

Assistant, United States Bureau of Fisheries 



APPENDIX VIII TO THE REPORT OF THE U. S. COMMISSIONER 
OF FISHERIES FOR 1914 




Bureau of Fisheries Document No. 818 



WASHINGTON 

GOVERNMENT PR TSTING OFFICE 

1915 



U. S. B. F.— Doc. 81! 










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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE 

BUREAU OF FISHERIES 

HUGH M. SMITH, Commissioner 



THE FISHES OF THE YELLOWSTONE 
NATIONAL PARK 



By W* C Kendall 

Assistant, United States Bureau of Fisheries 



APPENDIX VIII TO THE REPORT OF THE U. S. COMMISSIONER 
OF FISHERIES FOR 1914 




Bureau of Fisheries Document No. 818 



WASHINGTON 
GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE 

1915 



ADDITIONAL COPIES 

OF THIS PUBLICATION MAY BE PROCURED FROM 

THE SUPERINTENDENT OF DOCUMENTS 

GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE 

WASHINGTON, D. C. 

AT 

5 CENTS PEK COPY 



THE FISHES OF THE YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK 



By W* C. Kendall 

Assistant, United States Bureau of Fisheries 



Appendix VIII to the Report of the U. S. Commissioner 
of Fisheries for 1 914 

1 



Digitized by the Internet Archive 

in 2013 



http://archive.org/details/fishesofyellowstOOkend 



THE FISHES OF THE YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK. 



By W. C. Kendall, 

Assistant. U. S. Bureau of Fisheries. 



INTRODUCTION. 

The natural fish fauna of the Yellowstone National Park consists of 
but a few species, owing to the facts that distribution must have 
occurred in recent geological times and that all of the streams leaving 
the lava beds do so by means of vertical waterfalls situated in deep 
canyons. Except in Yellowstone River and its tributaries, in Gibbon 
River, and in Lava Creek, no fishes have been found above these falls 
except where their presence may be accounted for by imperfect water- 
sheds separating these streams from others. 

The known species of natural occurrence in the park are longnose 
sucker, rosyside sucker, chub, silverside minnow, longnose dace, 
whitefish, cutthroat trout, grayling, and blob. Of these only the 
trout and grayling were recognized as game fishes, although the white- 
fish might justly be so considered. While these fishes were wonder- 
fully abundant in the waters inhabited by them, the annually increas- 
ing number of tourists, many of whom were anglers, made it desirable 
to stock some of the previously barren waters with game fishes. 

An examination of the park waters by Forbes in 1890 a showed that 
many of these waters were well supplied with crustacean and insect 
food and were otherwise suited to certain species. Referring to the 
supposed obstacle to the spread of fish life in the park, Dr. Jordan 
said that the waters of the geysers and other calcareous and silicious 
springs appeared not to be objectionable to fishes. In Yellowstone 
Lake trout were found especially abundant about the overflow from 
the Lake Geyser Basin, where the hot water flowed for a time at the 
surface, and trout could be taken immediately under these currents. 
It was noted also that trout had been known to rise to a fly through 
the scalding hot surface current and that they lingered in the neigh- 
borhood of hot springs in the bottom of the lake. Dr. Jordan sug- 
gested that this was probably owing to the abundance of food in those 

a A preliminary report on the aquatic invertebrate fauna of the Yellowstone National Park, Wyo., and 
the Flathead region of Montana. By S. A. Forbes. Bulletin U. S. Fish Commission, vol. xi, for 
1891, p. 207-258, and pi. xxxvn-XLn. 1893. 

3 



4 FISHES OF THE YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK. 

warm waters, but the fact is evident that geyser water does not kill 
trout. Heart Lake was also mentioned where trout were found most 
plentiful about the mouth of warm Witch Creek and in Boiling River, 
which drains the Mammoth Hot Springs and flows into Gardiner River, 
where trout abounded about the mouth, and where the conventional 
trick of catching a trout in cold water and scalding in hot water is 
possible. 

The first fish-cultural distributions in the park waters were in 1889, 
when several species were transplanted and introduced. From that 
time to the present many fish of various species have been planted, 
according to available records, as follows : 

Native whitefish (Coregonus williamsoni) 12, 980 

Native trout (Salmo clarkii) 9, 009, 968 

Rainbow trout (Salmo irideus) 61, 390 

Loch Leven trout (Salmo levenensis) 17, 195 

Landlocked salmon (Salmo scbago) 9, 000 

European brown trout (Salmo fario) 9, 300 

Lake trout (Salvelinus namaycush) 42, 025 

Eastern brook trout (Salt cUnus fontinalis) 41, 650 

Largemouth black bass ( Mieropterus salmoides) 750 

PRINCIPAL FISHING IN THE PARK. 

Of the foregoing, the landlocked salmon and black bass have shown 
no evidence of their survival, but more or less of the others have be- 
come established and some of them abound even in waters previously 
uninhabited by fish. 

In many of the localities the fishing is reported to be excellent, not 
only for the introduced forms but for native trout, otherwise called 
blackspotted or cutthroat trout. Where whitefish and grayling 
naturally occur they are usually plentiful. 

The season does not begin much, if any, before July, by which time, 
according to one of the following authorities, "the plethora of water 
has disappeared and the streams flow swift, clear, and cold. At this 
season of the year trout fishing is at its best." 

Information regarding the fishing in various localities may be found 
in the reports of the superintendent of the park, particularly that of 
1897, and the following publications: 

Fish in the National Park and tributaries of Snake River — propagation of whitefish. 
By J. E. Curtis. Bulletin U. S. Fish Commission, vol. iv, for 1884, p. 335-336. 

A reconnoissance of the si reams and lakes of the Yellowstone National Park, Wyo., 
in the interest of the United States Fish Commission. By David Starr Jordan. Bulle- 
tin U. S. Fish Commission, vol. ix, for 1899, p. 41-63, with map and many plates. 

A reconnoissdnce of the streams and lakes of western Montana and northwestern 
Wyoming. By Barton W. Evermann. Bulletin U. S. Fish Commission, vol. xi, for 
1891, p. 3-60, with plates and maps. 

A woman's trout fishing in Yellowstone Park. By Mary Trowbridge Townsend. 
Outing, vol. xxx, no. 2, Maw 1897, p. 163-164. 



FISHES OF THE YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK, 5 

Wyoming summer fishing and the Yellowstone Park. By Ralph E. Clark. Outing, 
vol. lii, no. 4, Tilly, 1908, p. 508-511. 
Fly fishing in wonderland. By Klahowya (0. P. BarnesL 1910. 56 p. 

The following annotated up-to-date list of fishing localities is mainly 
derived from information kindly furnished by Col. L. M. Brett, United 
States Army, the present acting superintendent of the park, to which 
a few notes from the previously mentioned writers have been added: 

YELLOWSTONE LAKE. 

The lake abounds in native trout eager for the fly or other lure. 
There appears to be no other species in the lake, the landlocked salmon 
planted in 1908 and 1909 not having been seen since. Rainbow trout 
planted at the same time in some of the affluents have shown no 
evidence of establishment. 

YELLOWSTONE RIVER ABOVE THE FALLS. 

Native blackspotted trout are plentiful. Whitefish planted in 1889 
and in 1890 have not been reported. 

Cascade Creek. — Native trout are abundant. 

YELLOWSTONE RIVER AND BRANCHES BELOW THE FALLS. 

Native trout are plentiful and whitefish are native to the waters 
but seldom found higher up than Crevice Gulch. 

Tower Creek. — The waters above the falls were barren previously to 
the planting of eastern brook, rainbow, and blackspotted trouts, and 
these have as yet shown no evidence of establishment. 

Geode Creek. — Rainbow trout planted in 1909. 

Blacktail Deer Creek. — Native trout are abundant and eastern brook 
trout were planted in 1912, 1913, and 1914. 

GARDINER RIVER AND BRANCHES. 

The main stream. — Loch Leven trout are found in abundance, prob- 
ably planted by mistake. Native trout and whitefish are common. 

East Fork or Lava Creek. — Blackspotted and eastern brook trouts 
were introduced and both are abundant. Rainbow trout were also 
introduced but are not much, if at all, in evidence. 

The main stream above the falls. — This section of the river, together 
with its branches, the Obsidian, Indian, Panther, and Straight Creeks, 
also Grizzly Lake and Glen Creek, above the falls, were previously 
barren waters in which eastern brook trout arc now abundant. 

GIBBON RIVER ABOVE FALLS AND GREBE LAKE. 

Rainbow and eastern brook trouts are now abundant in these pre- 
viously barren waters. Blackspotted trout were planted in Grebe 
Lake in 1912, but the results are not } ^t known. 



6 FISHES OF THE YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK. 

MADISON RIVER AND BRANCHES. 

Firehole River, Gibbon River below the Falls, Nez Perce Creek, Little 
Firehole River, etc. — Native blackspotted trout, whitefish, and gray- 
ling are abundant, as are also Lock Leven and brown trouts. Eastern 
brook trout and rainbow trout are numerous in Gibbon River. Mr. 
Clark wrote : 

The junction of Yellowstone and Lamar Rivers is noted for fine fishing. If you find 
the waters high, swift, and roily, you will probably try your flies in vain. Put on a 
spinner or a little spoon and watch the fish rise to it, almost touch it, and then go away. 
They are after live bait and wont touch anything else. The grasshoppers are abunda nt ; 
catch a few, bait your hook carefully, and let it float down with the current. A large 
trout will rise to it, and if you are not very careful he will steal it from you. 

SHOSHONE LAKE AND CREEK; LEWIS LAKE. 

Lock Leven and lake trouts are abundant, and eastern brook trout 
abound in Shoshone Creek. Mr. Clark wrote that the Shoshone and 
Lewis Lakes region was probably the best fishing in the park: 

These two lakes and their outlet, Lewis River, are full of native trout and have been 
stocked with Mackinaw and Lock Leven trout, which are increasing in size and num- 
ber most successfully. These fish will not rise to the surface and take the fly as do the 
regular native trout, and it is necessary to go down into the water for them. In the lakes 
you can catch them by trolling, if you can find the particular cove where they happen 
to be running. However, in spite of the uncertainty of the lake trolling, there is one 
place where you can troll with assurance of success, and that is in the canal between 
Shoshone and Lewis Lakes. This is a natural body of water with little or no current 
and not very wide. In Lewis River just below Lewis Falls, in the deep pools where the 
eddies are covered with fo^im, you are sure to find good fishing. 

Duck Lake {near Thumb of Yellowstone Lake). — Blackspotted trout 
are abundant, but landlocked salmon planted in 1908 have not since 
been observed 

MINOR WATERS. 

Pelican Creek. — Stocked with blackspotted trout from the Yellow- 
stone Lake hatchery. Mr. Clark says: 

One mile east of Yellowstone River outlet is Pelican Stream which rises in the cold 
snows of the mountains and empties its waters into the lake. Here you catch quanti- 
ties of uncontaminated trout, large, beautiful, fat, and gamy, as free from worms as the 
fresh cold waters they swim in are free from pollution. 

Clear Creek, Eleanor Lake, Middle, Crow, and Jones Creeks, and 
Sylvan Jjake. — All of these are stocked with blackspotted trout from 
the hatchery. 

Small lake near Sepulchre Mountain. — Eastern brook trout were 
planted in 1912, but the results are as yet unknown. 

Swan Lake (connects with Glen Creek and upper Gardiner River). — 
The planted eastern brook trout seem to have left the lake for the 
small streams, as they have never been found in the lake. 



FISHES OF THE YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK. 7 

Twin Lakes. — Whitefish were planted in 1899, but have never been 
heard of since. 

Beaver Lake (connects with Obsidian Creek). — Eastern brook trout 
are plentiful in the lake, but the rainbow trout also planted there have 
never been heard of. 

Be Lacy Lake. — The rainbow trout planted in 1895 have not been 
observed. 

Ice Lake {near Gardiner River). — Eastern brook trout planted here 
have never been reported. 

Ice Lake (between Fountain and Excelsior Geysers).— Blackspotted 
trout planted in 1905 have not been heard of. 

Upper Basin Lakes (in Fireliole Basin). — Black bass planted in 1895 
never have been observed. 

FISHING RULES AND REGULATIONS. 

The following rules and regulations applicable to fishing in the park 
have been prescribed by the superintendent : 

Fishing with nets, seines, traps, or by the use of drugs or explosives, or in any other 
way than with hook and line, is prohibited. Fishing for purposes of merchandise or 
profit is forbidden. Fishing may be prohibited by order of the superintendent of the 
park in any of the waters of the park, or limited therein to any specified season of the 
year, until otherwise ordered by the Secretary of the Interior. 

All fish less than 8 inches in length should at once be returned to the water with 
the least damage possible to the fish. Fish that are to be retained must be at once 
killed by a blow on the back of the head or by thrusting a knife or other sharp instru- 
ment into the head. No person shall catch more than 20 fish in one day. 

PARASITES OF THE TROUT. 

It has long been known that in certain waters of the Yellowstone 
Park trout are infested with parasitic worms, while in other park 
waters they were free from this parasite. Yellowstone Lake fish 
appear to be the most seriously affected, and the fact of this para- 
sitism has been of no little concern to anglers, consumers of fish, 
and fish culturists in that region. 

This parasite is a tapeworm, to which the late Prof. Joseph Leidy, 
who first described the species, gave the name of Dibothrium cordiceps. 
In the larval stage this worm occurs in cysts among or on the viscera 
of the trout, free among the viscera, beneath the peritoneal lining 
of the abdominal cavity, or in the muscular tissue.® 

It is only the larval or intermediate stage that occurs in the trout, 
the host of the adult appearing to be an entirely different animal, 
as is the case with all tapeworms. Briefly, its life cycle seems to be as 
follows: Starting with the egg in the water, it develops into a ciliated 

a A full discussion of this subject will be found in the following paper: A contribution to the life history 
of Dibothrium cordiceps Leidy, a parasite infesting the trout of Yellowstone Lake. By Edwin Linton. 
Bulletin U. S. Fish Commission, vol. ix, for 1899, p. 337- ' 58, with plates. 

95872°— 15 2 



8 FISHES OF THE YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK. 

embryo. This passes into the trout, where it becomes established 
and assumes the form commonly observed. The fish is eaten by 
the pelican, and in the intestinal tract of this bird the parasite attains 
its adult and reproductive stage, and its round of life is there com- 
pleted. The eggs pass from the bird into the water, and a new 
generation is begun. 

This parasitism of the trout is of much concern to the angler 
because the fish thus affected are likely to be lazy or inactive. To 
the consumer such fish are more or less objectionable, not only 
because they are " wormy," for the worm is a "tapeworm" of 
proverbial aversion and dread, but because the fish are sometimes 
deteriorated in quality and flavor and considered unfit to eat. To 
the fish culturist, whose concern comprises both of the foregoing, 
there is the fear of spreading the infection to other waters. As the 
most seriously affected trout are found in the warmer waters, the 
angler can get some relief by fishing in cool waters. 

As an answer to the query of the consumer, it may be said that no 
known tapeworm for the adult of which man acts as host finds its 
intermediate host in fishes. Furthermore, as cooking destroys the 
vitality of the worm, there would be little or no danger from that 
source, besides which there is probably no edible fish that is not 
more or less affected with some kind of parasitic worms. 

However, it may dispel apprehension to state that similar tape- 
worms in some places are actually eaten as food and considered 
delicacies. In Italy a parasite of the European tench and other 
cyprinid fishes is sold in the markets under the name of maccaroni 
piatti and eaten, usually under the mistaken notion that it is the 
roe of the fish. The same or a similar parasite is also eaten by 
many persons in Lyon where it goes by the appropriate and truthful 
name of ver blanc (white worm). It is stated on good authority 
that in this country a choice portion of another fish not infrequently 
contains encysted parasitic worms which the consumer, not knowing 
its nature, selects as a delicate morsel. However, since these facts 
are not likely to completely remove a deep-seated prejudice or lead 
to a general demand for tapeworms on the menu of the park hotels, 
it would be desirable to be rid of these parasites or even to reduce 
the number. 

Several methods, more or less feasible, have been suggested. 
The most practical and at the same time the most desirable of these 
is the introduction of other fishes into Yellowstone waters to detract 
the attention of the native trout from itself as a food; for it is not 
improbable that the intensity of this parasitic infection of the Yellow- 
stone Lake trout is increased by cannibalism, since there are no other 
fishes for the large trout to eat. Also, these additional fishes not 
being subject to infection by this trout-pelican parasite, by affording 



FISHES OF THE YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK. 9 

other fish than trout as food for the pelicans, would reduce the 
output of tapeworm eggs from that source. The fish best suited 
to that end is the chub (Leuciscus lineatus) and perhaps the silverside 
minnow (Leuciscus JiydropMox), both of which abound in Heart 
Lake and Witch Creek. 

Tapeworms would probably disappear from trout transferred to 
other waters where there are no pelicans, unless by chance some 
other fish-eating bird may be or might become a host for the adult. 

LIST OF THE FISHES. 

As has been indicated, 10 species of fishes are known to be native 
to the waters of the park, of which only 3 are reputed to be game 
fishes. However, 6 others, all game fishes, have been introduced and 
all but two of them have become acclimatized and afford good fishing. 

A brief discussion of each kind of native and introduced fish fol- 
lows, preceded by a key intended as an aid to the angler in the identi- 
fication of his catch. 

The key is arranged on the alternative plan and is to be used in the 
following manner: Trace the characters of the specimens with what 
is said under each succeeding letter, until there is a disagreement, or 
the name of the fish is reached. When a disparity occurs, go to the 
double of the letter under which it occurs, thence proceed as before 
until another disagreement or a name is found, and so on. For 
example, take the brown trout, assuming that it is not recognized; 
compare it with statement A, with which it agrees; proceed to B, 
with which it does not agree, having fewer rays in the dorsal fin. 
Turn to BB, with which it agrees, and by the name in parenthesis it 
is found to belong to the Salmonidse or salmon family. Then go to b, 
with which it is found to disagree in having a large mouth and coarse 
teeth and more scales than stated. Turn, therefore, to bb, where an 
agreement and the subfamily to which it belongs are found. Pro- 
ceed regularly then to d, which is also found to agree. Continue to 
e, with which it does not agree, as it is not profusely blackspotted 
and has not 130 scales in lengthwise series. Turn to ee, with which 
it agrees. Proceed to g, with which it does not agree. Then turn 
to gg, with which it agrees in the number of scales and color descrip- 
tion, a and the numbered name of the brown trout is reached. The 
number indicates its place in the annotated list of fishes which follows 
the key. 

If it is desired to ascertain the name of a specimen of fish without 
an adipose fin, which, of course, is found not to conform to the state- 
ment A, turn to AA and proceed as in the foregoing example. 

a The color description of each species as given can not always be relied upon to exactly fit a specimen 
in hand, owing to the great variability in this respect. Ho - ever, there will always be more or less approach 
to the genera! color scheme as stated, which no other species will show. 



10 FISHES OF THE YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK. 

ARTIFICIAL KEY TO THE FISHES. 

A. Adipose or gristly fin on back situated behind a soft, jointed-rayed dorsal fin. 

Salmonoid fishes. 

B. Anterior dorsal fin long and high, with L9 or 20, or more, fully developed rays. 

Graylings (Thymallidae). 
a. Coloration: Back bluish gray with purplish reflections; sides and gill covers 
lighter, with purple and silvery reflections, beautifully iridescent; scales with 
pearly luster; belly pure white; a few V-shaped black spots between head 
and middle of dorsal fin but none posteriorly; two oblong, bluish black blotches 
in cleft between opercle and gill membrane rays (branehiostegals), more pro- 
nounced in the male; a line on upper border of belly from ventral to pectoral 
fins, dark and heavy in the male, very faint in the female. Dorsal fin edged 
with a red or rosy border; four to seven rows of red or rosy roundish spots, 
ocellated with white between the dorsal rays; dark blotches forming lines be- 
tween the rows of red spots. Ventral fins with three rose-colored, branching 
stripes along the rays, darker between. Pectoral and. anal fins plain, with 

dark border Montana grayling, 1. 

BB. Anterior dorsal fin short with not over 15 fully developed rays. Salmon family 
(Salnionidae). 
b. Mouth small, teeth sparse, fine bristle-like or none; fewer than 100 fully de- 
veloped scales in a lengthwise series from the upper end of gill opening to 
base of tail. AVhitefish (Coregoninse). 
c. Scales in longitudinal series 78 to 88; coloration, bluish or grayish olivaceous 
above, silvery on sides, whiter below; sometimes with dusky, or yellowish 
or brassy tinge; all fins usually tipped with black; tail and adipose fins 
bluish or olivaceous. No spots; young with parr marks. 

Native whitefish, 2. 
bb. Mouth large, teeth strong and sharp; scales comparatively small, more than 
100 in lengthwise series. Salmons, trouts, and chars (Salmoniiur ). 
(/. Scales in lengthwise series fewer than 200, body always more or less black 
spotted. (Salmo.) 
e. Scales more than 130 in lengthwise series; body profusely black spoiled. 
/'. Scales in lengthwise series about 160 to 170; spots rather large, pro- 
fusely scattered and irregular, usually none on the belly; red 
blotches on the lower jaw and membrane between always present. 

Extremely variable in coloration and form Native trout, 3.. 

ff. Scales in lengthwise series about 135 to 145; profusely black spotted 
with only slight if any appearance of red on and between lower 
jaws. Coloration more or less variable but usually bluish or oli- 
vaceous above, sides silvery, everywhere profusely spotted, the 
spots extending on the sides of the belly and on the vertical fins; 
upper ray of pectoral spotted; spots on tail small, belly nearly plain; 
both males and females with more or less diffuse red or rosy lateral 
band and blotches; often much red on cheek and gill cover. 

Rainbow trout, 4. 
ee. Scales in lengthwise series fewer than 130. Not profusely black 
spotted; no rosy wash, band, or blotches along the side. 
g. Body comparatively 7 slender, more or less silvery, with no ocel- 
lated red spots; black spots irregular in shape, the shape deter- 
mined by the number of scales occupied ; sometimes cross, double- 
cross, or triple-cross shape. 
h. Scales in lengthwise series 1 18 to 1 30; in oblique cross series from 
lateral line to upper base of ventral fin 26 to 30. Upper part 



FISHES OF THE YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK. 11 

bluish or greenish olive, sides silvery with a varying number 
of X- shaped or crescenlic black spots; sides of head with 
roundish black spots; tip of pectoral blackish; anal and tail 
fins unspotted, varying much in coloration in different waters. 

Loch Leven trout, 5. 
hh. Scales in lengthwise series about 115 fully developed; 21 to 23 
in oblique series from lateral line to upper base of ventral. 
Color very variable but typically greenish olive on back, sil- 
very on sides; belly white; irregular black spots on back and 
sides; sometimes two rows on base of dorsal fin; none on tail; 
variable number, but usually three or four roundish black 
spots on gill cover. Young often with unocellated bright red 

spots along sides Landlocked salmon, 6. 

gg. Body comparatively short and deep; scales in lengthwise series 
about 120, and about 30 in oblique series. Dark colored, olive 
or brownish, with numerous irregular black or dark brown spots 
above lateral fin below; usually ocellated red spots along side; 
orange or yellow margin on upper part of dorsal and anal and 
outer part of ventral. Light-colored young much resemble 
young landlocked salmon but distinguished by the red spots 

having bluish areolae Brown trout, 7. 

dd. Scales in longitudinal series usually 200 or more. No black spots what- 
ever. 

i. Scales in longitudinal series usually 200 or more (180-205); 
never any ocellated red spots on sides; no rivulations on 
back, dorsal fin, or tail. Tail always strongly forked. Colora- 
tion extremely variable, generally grayish or yellowish gray, 
profusely covered with round pale spots, sometimes almost 
white, again deep orange, usually pale yellow; yellowish 
spots on dorsal and partial dusky cross bars on upper and lower 
basal half of tail. Young sometimes with faint mottling on 

back slightly resembling the brook trout Lake trout, 8. 

ii. Scales in lengthwise series 215 to 230; red spots on sides always 
ocellated with bluish; back usually yellowish gray and 
always vermieulated or rivulated with dusky; dorsal and 
tail with wavy dusky bars and rivulations; pectorals, ventral, 
and anal reddish with white outer rays margined behind by 
a narrow black streak. Coloration highly variable with age, 

locality, and season Eastern brook trout, 9. 

AA. No adipose fin; one or two dorsal fins. 
a'. IXorsal fins more or less continuous, the anterior of spines or simple unjointed 
rays; the posterior of soft or jointed rays. 
V . Anterior dorsal composed of strong sharp spines. General color, dark green 
above, sides and belly greenish; an irregular blackish stripe along the 
side from opercle to middle of base of tail, growing indistinct and disappear- 
ing with age; three oblique dark stripes across cheek and gill covers; some 
dark spots above and below lateral line. Coloration somewhat variable 

and quickly changeable Black bass, 10. 

by. Anterior dorsal composed of weak flexible spines or simple rays; small curved 
hook at edge of gill cover. Coloration olivaceous, everywhere punctulate 
with dark spots, conspicuous on top of head, four or five dark blotches on 
back suggesting cross bars; dorsal, pectorals, and tail with wavy streaks and 
series of spots; anal and ventral wh'te, or sometimes dusky Blob, 11. 



12 FISHES OF THE YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK. 

aa' . Dorsal fin single, the fully developed rays all soft and jointed. 

& '. Mouth wholly inferior with thick papillose lips, especially the lower lip. 
df . Scales in lengthwise series very small, reduced and crowded anteriorly, 
90 to 110. Snout long. Coloration dusky brown, sometimes with a 

broad red flush or irregular stripe Longnose sucker, 12. 

dd' . Scales in lengthwise series 70 to 72, not particularly reduced or crowded 
anteriorly. Snout not long. Coloration blackish above, males with 
more or less rosy flush or stripe in breeding season . . Rosyside sucker, 13. 
c& '. Mouth more or less terminal or oblique, sometimes slightly inferior, but lips 
never thick or papillose. 
e / . Mouth oblique. 
/'. Anal rays 8; scales in lengthwise series 55 to 63; mouth very oblique 
lower jaw somewhat projecting. Coloration blackish, everywhere 
dark; scales much dotted and with dark edges; often forming lines 

along the rows of scales. Males without red. Chub, 14. 

ff / . Anal fin rays 10 to 13, usually 10 or 11; scales about 58, mouth 
oblique, short, jaws about equal. Coloration greenish silvery; 
the back dusky; a dark blue or blackish lateral band between two 
silvery stripes; the lateral band and below bright orange-red in 
the males, the red usually ceasing at front of anal ; a bright silvery 
or golden crescent on chubs; a golden streak from snout above eye 
to gill opening. Very pale in alkaline waters. 

Silverside minnow, 15. 
eef '. Mouth subinferior. 

9' ' • ^ pper jaw not protractile, the upper lip continuous with the skin 
of the forehead, muzzle long and projecting, color silvery, darker 
above; a dusky lateral shade most distinct in young, males largely 

rosy Longnose dace, 16. 

gg' . Upper jaw protractile, i. e., the upper lip capable of being drawn 
out from the snout; muzzle not particularly long. Color usually 
dark grayish above becoming paler below, a faint lateral band 
of dark extending through the eye and around snout. 

Dusky dace, 17. 

1. Montana Grayling ( TTvym alius montanus). 

The Montana grayling originally existed only in tributaries of the 
Missouri River above Great Falls. 

In the park it occurs naturally in Madison and Gallatin Rivers and 
branches, Fan Creek, Grayling Creek, and the Firehole River below 
the falls. It is reported as very abundant at the junction of Firehole 
and Gibbon Rivers. It is said to ascend, in summer, as far as Fire- 
hole Falls and to be found in the Gallatin River in the northwestern 
part of the park. 

The Montana grayling is a most graceful and beautiful fish, of 
shapely proportions and exquisite coloration. The adult averages 
from 10 to 12 inches in length and from about J to 1 pound in weight. 

It prefers swift, clear, pure streams, with gravelly or sandy bottom. 
It is quite gregarious, lying in schools in the deeper pools, in plain 
sight, and not, like the trout, concealed under bushes and overhang- 
ing banks. In search of food, which consists principally of insects 



FISHES OF THE YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK. 



13 



and their larvae, it occasionally extends its range to streams strewn 
with bowlders and broken rocks. 

Unlike the native trout, the grayling will go long distances, if 
necessary, to find suitable spawning grounds. They spawn in April 
and May on gravelly shallows. In the north fork of the Madison 
River, where the water is comparatively warm, coming from the 
Firehole River in the Yellowstone Park, the grayling spawns a month 
earlier than in any other waters in Montana. 

In point of activity it even excels the native trout, when hooked 
breaking the water repeatedly in its effort to escape, which the trout 
seldom does. It takes the artificial fly eagerly, and if missed at the 
first cast will rise again and again from the depths of the pool, whereas 
the trout will seldom rise a second time without a rest. It will also 
take various baits, such as caddis-fly larvae, grasshoppers, and worms. 
Among the recommended flies are professor, Lord Baltimore, queen 




Fig. 1. — Montana grayling. 

of the water, grizzly king, Henshall, coachman, and various gauze- 
winged flies, with no. 10 and 12 hooks. 

As a food fish it is even better than the trout. Its flesh is firm and 
flaky, very white, and of delicate flavor. 



2. Native Whitefish 



Rocky Mountain 

williams oni) . 



Whitefish (Coregonus 



The Rocky Mountain whitefish occurs in all suitable waters on the 
west slope of the Rockies from Utah to British Columbia. A scarcely, 
if at all, distinguishable variety or subspecies bearing the name of 
Coregonus williamsoni cismontanus is found in certain waters -of the 
upper Missouri Basin. 

In some localities this fish is miscalled grayling,* with which it 
should not be confused, as it is a very different species; and there 
seems to be a local Yellowstone River name, the phonetic spelling of 
which is "sterlet" or "steret." 



a Referring to the fishing in the canyon of Sunlight Creek, Clark Fork, Mr. Clark probably made this 
mistake in writing the following: "You will probably fii t catch a scaly fish which looks like a long sucker. 
It is the Montana gray-ling and there are many down there. " 



14 



FISHES OF THE YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK. 



In the park it naturally occurs in the Yellowstone River below the 
falls as far up as Crevice Gulch, beyond which it is seldom found; 
also in Madison and Gallatin Rivers below the falls; and has been 
reported also from the junction of Firehole and Gibbon Rivers. 

Young whitefish, 2 to 5 inches long, from Montana, were planted 
in park waters as follows: In 1889, 2,000 were placed in Twin Lakes 
and 980 in Yellowstone River above the falls, and 10,000 more were 
planted in the latter place in 1890. It is considered doubtful if any 
of these have survived, owing to the number and size of voracious 
trout in the Yellowstone River and the mineral character and high 
temperature of Twin Lakes. 

This fish prefers clear, cold lakes and streams, where the usual 
length of adults is about a foot or so, although it 4s known to have 
attained a weight of 4 pounds. The cismontanus form is essentially 
a river fish rather than an inhabitant of lakes, and is most abundant 




Fig. 2. — Native whitefish; Rocky Mountain whitefish. 

in the eddies or deeper places of swift streams. It spawns in late fall 
or early winter. 

It is a slender graceful fish, readily taking the artificial fly like a 
grayling or trout, as well as natural baits, such as worms and insects, 
and even fresh meat. However, owing to the smallness of its mouth, 
the hook should be no larger than no. 10 or 12, and when hooked the 
fish requires careful ' ' playing ' ' owing to the tenderness of the mouth 
parts. It is a game fighter. It ranks high as a panfish, for, when in 
condition, it is of surpassing sweetness and delicacy of flavor. 



3. Native Trout 



Cutthroat Trout; Blackspotted Trout 

(Salmo clarkii). 



(See Frontispiece.) 

In its numerous varietal, subspecific, or specific forms the cutthroat 
or blackspotted trout is of extensive distribution on the Pacific slope. 
In the park a form previously designated as Salmo lewisi is found 
naturally in both the upper Snake and upper Missouri Waters, hav- 
ing doubtless gained the latter from the Snake River by the way of 



FISHES OF THE YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK. 



15 



Two Ocean Pass, and it is not unlikely that an interchange of indi- 
viduals still takes place. 

Yellowstone Lake and Yellowstone River from its source to many 
miles beyond the park are inhabited by it. The abundance of trout 
above the falls is remarkable. 

Trout are known to naturally occur in the following park waters: 



Lower Yellowstone River. 
Sour Creek. 
Trout Creek. 
Alum Creek. 
Antelope Creek. 
Lamar River. 

Cold Creek. 

Willow Creek. 

Timothy ('reek. 

Miller Creek. 

Calfee ('reek. 

Cache Creek. 

Soda Butte, Pebble, and Amphi- 
theatre ( 'reeks. 

Slough and Buffalo Creeks, Lake 
Abundance, etc. 
Hellroaring Creek. 
Blacktail Deer Creek. 
Gardiner River. 

Lava and Lupine Creeks. 
Yellowstone Lake. 
Beaverdam Creek. 
Rocky Creek. 
Trail Creek. 
Chipmunk Creek. 
Riddle Lake and Solution Creek. 
Arnica Creek and Beach Lake. 
Columbine Creek. 
Clear Creek. 
Bear Creek. 
Pelican Creek. 
Upper Yellowstone River. 
Atlantic Creek. 



Upper Yellowstone River — Continued. 
Bridger Lake and Creek. 
Falcon Creek. 
Thoroughfare Creek. 
Escarpment Creek. 
Cliff Creek. 
Lynx Creek. 
Phlox Creek. 
Mountain Creek. 
Badger Creek. 
Trappers < "reek. 
Madison River. 
Canyon Creek. 
Cougar Creek. 
Maple Creek. 
Gneiss Creek. 
Snake River. 
Fox Creek. 
Crooked Creek. 
Sickls Creek. 
Pacific Creek. 
Heart Lake and Heart River. 

Witch Creek. 

Beaver Creek. 

Surprise Creek. 
Basin Creek. 
Coulter, Harebell, and Wolverine 

( 'reeks. 
Red Creek. 
Forest Creek. 
Falls River. 

Mountain Ash Creek. 

Bechler River. 



In the Firehole River 



Jay Creek. 

Gibbon River has no trout above the falls, 
trout occur naturally below the falls. 

In the Gardiner River trout are abundant from the foot of the falls 
to its junction with the Yellowstone. Trout have not been seen 
above Osprey Falls. 

In Soda Butte Creek trout are numerous until obstructed by falls 
in the upper part. 

Hellroaring Creek is well stocked in the lower part. 

In Canyon Creek trout abound below the falls. 



16 PISHES OF THE YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK. 

In Lupine Creek, notwithstanding the harrier offered by Undine 
Falls, it is stated on good authority that trout have been taken in 
Lava Creek above the falls. 

In Riddle Lake trout are numerous. 

Alum Creek is said to be one of the best trout streams in the park. 

Lake Abundance is reported to be full of trout. 

In Heart Lake and at the mouth of Witch Creek trout are numerous. 

The following are United States fish-cultural records of distribution 
of young native trout in park waters: 



1889, East Fork of Gardiner 
River above the falls 9G8 



1904 
1904 
1906 
1908 
1908 
1909 
1909 
1910 
1911 
1912 
L912 



Duck Lake 290,000 

Yellowstone Lake 22, 000 

lee Pond 47,000 

Duck Lake 175,000 



1912, Natural Bridge ( )reek. . . 350, 000 

1912, Second Creek 300, 000 

1913, Boat House Creek 725, 000 

1913, Cub Creek 1 400, 000- 

1913, De Lacy ('reek 850, 000 

1913, Duck Lake 50,000 



Fisheries Creek 225, 000 1913, Grebe Lake 300, 000 



Cub Creek 1, 600, 000 

Fisheries Creek 890, 000 

Cub Creek 400,000 

Fisheries Creek 75, 000 

Boat House Creek 600, 000 

Cub Creek 100,000 



1913, Hatchery Creek 460, 000 

1913, Indian Creek 100, 000 

1913, Number Two Creek 400, 000 

1913, Soldier Creek 300, 000 

1914, Transportation Creek. . . 350, 000 



It appears that the plant of trout made in 1889 was obtained from 
Howard Creek, Idaho, in September and planted in Lava Creek above 
the falls which previously contained no trout according to the super- 
intendent of the park. However, it was subsequently ascertained 
that trout had possible access to this' locality from Blacktail Deer 
Creek, which has no falls and was abundantly supplied with trout. 

It has been said that there seem to be two varieties of native 
trout in the park, the larger ones of the Yellowstone, with bright 
yellow bellies, and the smaller kind more silvery in appearance and 
exhibiting much greater activity and game qualities, of which Tower 
Creek fish are examples. Also trout of Yellowstone Lake seem to 
differ from those of Heart and Henry Lakes in having more distinct 
and rather less numerous black spots. However, in this respect 
very much individual variation is shown. 

The size 4 attained by trout in the park waters, as elsewhere, varies 
much with locality and conditions. Fish of over 4 pounds have 
been reported. 

This trout in some waters is a highly esteemed game fish and 
can be taken in all sorts of ways — spoon, phantom, natural bait, 
artificial flies, etc. Mary Trowbridge Townsend writes of it in the 
Firehqle River: 

The father of the Pacific trout, the blackspotted ''cutthroat" with the scarlet 
splotch on his lower jaw, was most in evidence, with long symmetrical body, grad- 



FISHES OF THE YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PAEK. 



17 



uated black spots on his burnished sides. He is a brave, dashing fighter, often leap- 
ing salmon-like many- times from the water before he can be brought to creel. We 
found him feeding on the open riffs or rising on the clear surface of some sunlit pool. 

Ralph E. Clark wrote (1. c.) that "the dark, silvergray trout of 
the West seem to favor flies more in harmony with their own 
coloring" and mentioned the gray hackle, brown hackle, coachman, 
grizzly king, Seth Green, black gnat, and white moth. 

It is an excellent food fish when fresh from cool waters. 

4. Rainbow Trout (Salmo irideus) . 

The rainbow trout has its geographical range in the mountain 
streams of the Coast Range and the west slopes of the Sierra Nevada 
Mountains, but the natural abode of the rainbow trout of fish- 
cultural fame is the McCloud River, Cal. In fish books this form 
is recognized as a subspecies and there bears the name of Salmo 
irideus shasta. It has been successfully introduced into many 




Fig. -1.— Rainbow trout. 



streams in different parts of the United States where it was not 
previously found. The following plants have been made in the 
Yellowstone Park: 



990 



1889, Gibbon River (Grebe Lake 

above Virginia Cascade) 

1896, De Lacey Lake, near Mam- 
moth Hot Springs 

1906, Gibbon River 10, 000 

1908, East Fork of Gardiner River 200 
1908, Gardiner River 10, 000 



1908, Tributaries of Yellowstone 
Lake 3, 700 

1909, Gibbon River 7, 000 

1909, Grebe Lake 8, 500 

1909, Little Blacktail Creek. ..... 3, 000 

1910, Rock Lake 10,000 

1910, Gibbon River 15, 000 

The size attained by the rainbow trout varies greatly and is de- 
pendent upon volume of water, temperature, food supply, etc. 
Under certain conditions it reaches an extraordinary size, but in 
the ordinary environment 6-pound or 8-pound fish are to be regarded 
as large. In general it may be said that the fish does not overrun 
2 pounds. Its food is composed largely of insects. 



18 FISHES OF THE YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK. 

In the McCloud River its spawning season is from February to 
May, hut in the park it appears to spawn somewhat earlier. Many 
persons who have had experience in angling for rainbow trout say 
it is one of the best, and some pronounce it the very best, of the trouts. 
It often dashes from the water to meet the descending fly, and leaps 
repeatedly and madly when hooked. It has been said that it takes 
the fly so readily that there is no reason for resorting to other lures. 
However, its activity and habits, as in the case of most fishes, are 
modified more or less by its surrounding conditions. The same is 
true of its food qualities, which are ordinarily very good. 

Mary Trowbridge Townsend (1. c.) had the following to say rela- 
tive to her experience with the rainbow trout in Firehole River: 

The California rainbow trout proved true to his reputation, as absolutely eccentric 
and uncertain, sometimes greedily taking a fly and again refusing to be tempted 
by the most brilliant array of a carefully stocked book. During several days fishing 
we landed some small ones, none weighing over 2 pounds, although they are said 
to have outstripped the other varieties in rapidity of growth, and tales were told of 
4-pounders landed by more favored anglers. 

This fish has been reported from the Gibbon River both above 
and below Virginia Cascades. Regarding this stream, the super- 
intendent's report for 1897 shows that the fish planted above the 
cascades seemed to have come down over the falls, as but few were 
found above, while below the stream was well stocked to its junction 
with the Firehole. 

Grebe Lake, Blacktail Deer Creek, Madison, Firehole, and Little 
Firehole Rivers all contain rainbow trout. Referring to the last- 
named stream in 1897, the superintendent of the park wrote that 
several good specimens had been taken near its mouth, for which 
he could not account, as it seemed impossible for any fish to ascend 
the lower falls of the Little Firehole. 

5. Locn Leven Trout (Salmo levenensis) . 

This trout originated in Loch Leven, the lake made famous by 
Scott's poem, "The Lady of the Lake." Typically it was peculiar to 
this loch, where it seldom if ever attained much over a pound in 
weight. 

The claim has been made that it is merely an ontogenetic develop- 
ment of the common brown trout and that when transferred to other 
waters its progeny can not always be distinguished from the common 
brown trout. On the other hand, information derived from persons 
familiar with Loch Leven indicates that both this trout and the 
brown trout exist in the same lake and that in that body of water 
they can always be distinguished at whatever age or condition. 

It is not impossible that confusion has arisen by brown trout from 
that lake having been propagated under the supposition that they 



FISHES OF THE YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK. 



19 



were Loch Leven trout. There are parallel instances of such mis- 
taken identity in this country in respect to other species, and so-called 
Loch Leven trout have been propagated for a long time in this 
country. In the early years the progeny of Loch Leven eggs could 
easily be distinguished from brown trout hatched at the same time, 
especially when they had attained a few inches in length. Recently, 
however, there is reason to suspect that many of the so-called Loch 
Leven plants have been brown trout. Be that as it may, trout 
under each name have been introduced into Yellowstone Park waters 
and there are records of both having been subsequently taken. 




W* ft 
- '■•.■ ■ *. 

Fig. 5. — Loch Leven trout. 

In describing the fishing in the Firehole River, Mary Trowbridge 
Townsend said: 

One other fish proved a complete surprise. He was of silvery gray color, covered 
with small black crescents. Some park fishermen called him a Norwegian trout, 
others the Loch Leven. Any country might be proud to claim him with his har- 
monious proportions, game fighting qualities, and endurance. 

This trout is naturally a lake fish and its peculiarities would sug- 
gest a peculiar environment. Whether it will develop and thrive in 
streams and retain its peculiarities is uncertain. As a game fish it 
is not excelled by any of its introduced congeners and as a food fish, 
in its native waters at least, it is unsurpassed in delicacy of flavor. 
The Loch Leven is primarily an insect feeder and preeminently an 
artificial-fly fish. 

It has been introduced into park waters as follows: 

1889, Firehole River, upper courses 995 

1890, Lewis Lake 3, 350 

1890, Shoshone Lake 3, 350 

1903, Tributaries of Firehole River 9, 500 

Loch Leven trout have been reported from the following park 
waters, in some of which they are plentiful: Firehole, both above 
and below the cascades, Madison, Gibbon, and Gardiner Rivers, 
Heron Creek, north end of Shoshone Lake, Lewis Lake, " canal" 
between Shoshone and Lewis Lakes, and upper Snake River waters. 



20 



FISHES OF THE YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK. 



6. Landlocked Salmon [Salmo sebago). 

In the United States this species originally was known from a 
few localities in Maine, but has been widely distributed by fish cul- 
ture. It has become acclimatized in many waters but in others 
seems not to have become established. 

The Sebago salmon requires cool water and plenty of food, which 
in its natural abode and in those waters where it has thrived best 
consists chiefly of smelts. 

The size attained depends largely upon its food supply and per- 
haps upon the size of the lake in which it lives. The largest fish of 
this species have been taken from the largest lake, i. e., Sebago, 
where two fish of over 35 pounds each have been recorded, and many 
from 15 to 20 pounds have been taken by anglers. 




Fig. 6. — Landlocked salmon. 

It spawns in the fall, the height of the season in Maine being in the 
first part of November. Usually the fish ascends inlets or descends 
outlets for the purpose. 

Besides subsisting upon smelts and other kinds of small fishes, it 
eats quantities of insects at times. It is a highly esteemed game 
fish, and is accounted by many anglers the prince of game fishes. 
However, the game qualities are greatly affected by its environment, 
and the method of fishing has something to do with it. 

The usual method of angling for the Sebago salmon is by trolling 
with lures, which may be a smelt or other small silver fish, artificial 
minnow or phantom, various spinning contrivances, or artificial fly, 
and usually these are reinforced by a spoon as a supposed attraction. 
Whether in lake or stream, this salmon will often take the fly, but 
the stream salmon are by far the best fly fish. In fact in some locali- 
ties fly fishing is the only method employed. When taken by this 
method in a quick-water stream, the Sebago salmon is hard to beat 
as a game fish. 

Among the many taking flies, the silver doctor, grizzly king, Setli 
Green, Montreal, Jock Scot, brown hackle, and the like are con- 



FISHES OF THE YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK. 



21 



sidered by many to be the most effective. General favorites in the 
way of trolling lures are whitebait and blueback phantoms, although 
there are others more or less successful. 

This fish when properly prepared and cooked is most excellent as 
food. Baked salmon with sage dressing is highly recommended by 
those who have tried it. 

The only plants of landlocked salmon in the park appear to have 
been in 1909, when 2,000 were placed in Duck Lake and 7,000 hi 
Yellowstone Lake. 

A Department of the Interior bulletin, "General Information 
Regarding the Yellowstone National Park," issued in 1912, states 
that the salmon planted in the park apparently did not thrive, as 
they have never been heard of since they were planted. 

7. Brown Trout; Von Behr Trout (Salmo fario) . 

The brown trout is widely distributed in continental Europe and 
the British Isles, inhabiting lakes as well as streams, but it is the 




Fig. 7. — Brown trout; Von Behr trout. 

11 brook trout" of the European countries. Under favorable condi- 
tions it is known to grow to over 20 pounds, but as a true brook trout 
it seldom registers over one-half or 1 pound in weight. ** 

The brown trout thrives in clear, cold, rapid streams and at the 
mouth of streams tributary to lakes, having much the same habits 
as our eastern brook trout. It is by some regarded highly as a game 
fish, taking either bait or artificial fly. The best fly fishing is usually 
toward night. As a game and food fish it is in its prime from May 
to September. Its flesh is very agreeable in flavor. Spawning begins 
in October. 

• In 1890, 9,300 brown trout were planted in Nez Perce Creek. The 
brown trout has been caught in Nez Perce Creek, Madison, Gibbon, 
and Firehole Rivers, in the latter locality from its junction to the 
lower falls, or Keppler Cascade, and in the Little Firehole below 
Mystic Cascade and in Iron Creek. 



22 



FISHES OF THE YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK. 



Mary Trowbridge Townsend (1. c.) mentioned one from the Firehole 
River: 



A good 4-pounder, and unusual marking, large yellow spots encircled by black, 
with great brilliancy of iridescent color. * * * I took afterward several of the 
same variety, known in the park as the Von Behr trout, and which I have since found 
to be the same Salmofario, the veritable trout of Izaak Walton. 

8. Lake Trout (Salvelinus namaycush). 

The lake trout, otherwise known as laker, lunge, togue, mackinaw 
trout, etc., is of wide northern distribution. In British America it 
ranges from the Atlantic to the Pacific coasts and northward to the 
Arctic Ocean. In the United States it is found in many of the larger 
and deeper lakes in New England, New York, and in the Great Lakes 
Basin, and in a few localities in the Western States, as Montana and 
Idaho. It occurs also in Alaska. It has also been spread by fish- 
cultural operations into waters where it did not previously exist. 




Fig. 8. — Lake Iron I. 



The only plants of this fish in the Yellowstone Park seem to have been 
30,012 in Shoshone Lake and 12,013 in Lewis Lake in 1890. 

It is, as its name implies, a lake rather than a stream fish. In 
some waters it attains a very large size. Examples weighing over 
100 pounds have been reported from the Great Lakes, and in former 
years the average weight of the fish in the commercial fisheries of 
those waters was stated at 20 to 30 pounds. At this time, however, 
10 to 15 pounds can be considered large. 

Its large size affords its chief attraction as a game fish, for it is 
not ordinarily a very active fighter, although a powerful antagonist. 
It is usually caught by deep trolling, but is sometimes found at the 
surface and is occasionally taken on an artificial fly. Opinions differ 
regarding its table qualities, and, as with most fishes, much depends 
upon how it is prepared and cooked. It is a very oily fish and often 
of an unpleasant, strong, oily flavor. This may be obviated, how- 
ever, by removing the skin before the fish is cooked. The best 
method of cooking it is by boiling, serving with mayonnaise dressing 



or egg sauce. 



FISHES OF THE YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK. 



23 



The lake trout has become established at least in Shoshone Lake, 
from which in 1914 Dr. H. M. Smith saw brought in by an angler one 
of 14 pounds and several smaller ones. In his report for 1897 the 
acting superintendent of the park wrote that he had never heard of 
any fish being taken from Shoshone or Lewis Lakes, although he had 
seen fishes apparently of 3 or 4 pounds weight in Shoshone Lake, 
and the skeleton of a fish that would perhaps have weighed 10 pounds 
was found on the shore of the same lake. Some soldiers reported 
having seen schools of trout 2 feet long near the mouth of De Lacey 
Creek in Shoshone Lake. 

These are quite possibly lake trout, although Loch Levens had 
been planted in the same waters. However, Mr. Clark (1. c.) wrote 
in 1908 that lake trout were plentiful in Shoshone Lake and Lewis 
Lake and River, and that they could be caught in the "canal" between 
Shoshone and Lewis Lakes as fast as one could throw in a trolling 
spoon, and lie remarked that they were large and fat. 

9. Eastern Brook Trout; Speckled Trout (Salvelinus fontinalis) . 

The natural western limit of this brook trout in the United States 
is northeastern Minnesota. It inhabits lakes as well as streams, and 




Fig. 9. — Eastern brook trout; speckled trout. 

varies in size according to locality. It does not flourish in tempera- 
ture of over 68° F., and about 50° F. is preferable. The largest 
trout of this species authentically recorded weighed some over 12^ 
pounds. In some lakes trout of 5 or 6 pounds are not uncommon, 
but such large fish are seldom found in streams unless the streams 
are tributary to fairly large lakes. In streams of moderate size 
trout of 1 or 2 pounds weight are to be considered large, and in most 
brooks a trout of one-half or three-fourths pound is an exception, 
at least in recent years. Its spawning season is in fall. 

The brook trout is one of the most noted and esteemed of America i 
game fishes, but there must be something besides activity that makes 
it such a general favorite, as in that respect it is surpassed by several 
others. One appealing attribute is its beauty of coloration, and 



24 



FISHES OF TPIE YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK. 



another is its delicacy of flavor, which is hardly surpassed by any 
other fish. 

The brook trout may be taken by almost any method known to 
anglers. In open streams fly fishing is the method par excellence. 
In streams where overgrowth prevents fly casting, angleworms, grass- 
hoppers, or almost any bait will be taken when the trout is feed- 
ing. Everything will be disregarded when it is not feeding. The best 
flies to use in any body of water must be learned by experience, but 
the brown hackle is seldom a failure anywhere. Professor, queen of 
the water, Montreal, coachman, and many others are usually quite 
successful. Gauze-winged flies will sometimes succeed when others 
fail. 

The best time to fish for this trout is in the morning and early 
evening. It lurks in eddies and pools and at the foot of rapids, or 
under overhanging banks, old stumps, or rocks. 

The plants of eastern brook trout by the Bureau of Fisheries have 
been made in park waters as follows: . 



1889, Gardiner River 4, 975 

1890, West Fork of Gardiner River 7, 875 

1893, Shoshone Creek .4, 500 

L901, Willow and Glen Creeks 10, 000 

1902. Glen Creek 9, 000 

1902, Willow Creek 18, 000 

1902, Indian Creek 11, 000 

1903, Tower Creek 15, 000 

1905, Gibbon River above Vir- 
ginia Cascade 17, 000 

1905, Willow Creek 27. 000 

1 90G, Willow Creek 45. 000 



1907 
1907 
1908 
1908 
1908 
1909 
1910 
1910 
1910 
1911 
1913 



Indian Creek. 34, 000 

Willow Creek 63, 800 

Indian ('reek 27. 000 

Swan Lake 9, 000 

Willow Creek 28, 000 

Willow Creek 20, 000 

Glen Creek 5. 000 

Indian Creek 15, 000 

Willow Creek 20. 000 

Lava Creek 5. 000 

Blacktail Creek 22. 500 



The brook trout now occurs in Obsidian, Indian, Panther, Winter, 
Straight, Glen, and WillowCreeks; Grizzly Lake; upper Gardiner River, 
Firehole River above Kepler Cascades and between its junction with 
the Gibbon and the lower falls; Gibbon and Madison Rivers, Virginia 
Meadows, streams along the road from Wylie Camp to Apollinaris 
Spring, Shoshone Creek and Beaver Lake. The report of the super- 
intendent of the park for 1897 calls attention to the fact that brook 
trout were very numerous in the Firehole River above Kepler Cas- 
cades, evidently having been planted there through mistake for Loch 
Leven trout, none of which had ever been observed. The same 
report stated that Shoshone Creek was literally alive with brook trout 
up to 1^ pounds in weight. 

K). Largemouth Black Bass (Micropterus salmoides). 

There were two introductions of black bass in park waters. In 1 S93 
Gibbon River received 250 and in 1S96 " lakes in Yellowstone Na- 
tional Park" are indefinitely mentioned as having received 500. 



FISHES OF THE YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK, 



25 



Which of the two kinds of black bass composed the first plant is not 
known, but the latter plant was composed of the largemouth form. 
According to the circular of information issued by the Department 
of the Interior in 1912, there is no indication that its introduction 
into park waters has been a success, as this fish has not since been 
reported. In the opinion of the Bureau of Fisheries, no further 
efforts should be made to establish the black bass in the park. This 
fish does not harmonize with trouts, and its predatory habits make it 
an unsafe species to introduco into these waters. 

The largemouth black bass is widely distributed in the east, from 
Canada and the Red River of the North southward to Florida, Texas, 




Fig. 10.— Largemouth Black Bass. 

and Mexico; it everywhere abounds, especially in bayous and other 
sluggish waters. 

In the north the maximum weight attained is about 8 pounds, and 
the average probably about 3 or 4 pounds, but in the south a much 
larger size is reached. It is a common market fish in many localities. 
The game qualities depend upon various factors, but in some parts 
of its range are of a high order. 

1 1 . Blob ( ( bttus pun ctulatus) . 

This little fresh-water sculpin abounds in some of the waters of the 
park. It is stated to swarm in the grassy-bottom portions of Madison 
and Gibbon Rivers, also in Canyon Creek, and to be numerous in the 
Gibbon above the falls. It is also known from the Firehole below 
the falls. 

It is probably justly accused of being destructive to the eggs of 
other fishes, and appears to be of little use, unless possibly as bait for 
large trout. It can be taken with a small baited hook. 



26 FISHES OF THE YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK. 

12. Lononose Sucker (Catostomus catostomus). 

This sucker is of wide natural distribution in northern waters, its 
geographical range being from the Pacific to the Atlantic coasts and 
into the Arctic regions. 

It attains a weight of several pounds. Its spawning time is in the 
spring and early summer, when the males have their anal fin profusely 
tuberculate and the side of the body with a broad red stripe more or 
less diffuse on the edges. It is not sought as a game fish but some- 
times takes a baited hook and fights fairly well. 

When taken from cool water and cooked at once it is a good- 
flavored panfish, although somewhat bony. 

It is abundant in Yellowstone and Gardiner Rivers below the 
Osprey, Undine, and Rustic Falls, and reaches a length of 18 inches. 

13. Rosyside Sucker (Catostomus aniens). 

This sucker is abundant in the Snake River Basin above Shoshone 
Falls, where it attains a length of 18 inches or more. It has been 
reported from Heart Lake and Witch Creek and is said to ascend 
the latter into very warm water. Like the longnose sucker, it 
spawns in spring or early summer. It will also take a baited hook, 
and is edible but not as palatable as the other sucker. 

In Heart Lake and Witch Creek the alimentary tract of the sucker 
is infested by parasitic worms, which, although offensive to the eye, 
do not render the fish harmful as food. Affected fish, however, are 
likely to be lean and unpalatable. 

14. Chub (Leuciscus lineatus). 

This chub, known in the books as Utah Lake chub, is one of the 
most widely distributed of the genus and abounds in the Snake River 
Basin above Shoshone Falls; also in Yellowstone Lake and other 
places in the park. 

Chubs from cool water are not to be despised in game and food 
qualities. This species reaches a length of 12 or 15 inches or more 
and is said to be destructive to the eggs and young of trout. No 
worms have been found in the alimentary canal of this fish. It 
spawns in spring and early summer. 

I)r. Jordan says: "Chubs ascend Witch Creek until they reach 
water fairly to be called hot, and the sucker is not far behind," 
enduring a temperature of 88° F. 



FISHES OF THE YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK. 



27 




Fig. 11.— Blob. 




Fig. 12. — Longnose sucker. 




Fig. 13. — Rosyside sucker. 




Fig. 14.— Chub. 



28 



FISHES QF THE YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK. 



15. Silverside Minnow (Leuciscus hydro pi 'do x). 

This little fish is too small to be of much use for other than food 
or bait for trout, attaining a length of only 3 to 5 inches. It occurs 




Fig. 15. — Silverskle minnow. 

in some of the Snake River sources in the park, particularly Heart 
Lake and Witch Creek. It spawns in the spring. 

16. Longnose Dace (RJiiniclithys dulcis). 

This little fish, attaining a maximum length of only about 5 
inches, is food for trout and useful as bait. It is found in Heart 




Tig. 16. — Longnose da e. 

Lake and Witch Creek and also in Gardiner River below Qsprev, 
Undine, and Rustic Falls. 

17. Dusky Dace (Agosia nubila) . 

The little dusky dace, seldom over 3 J inches in length, is extremely 
abundant and widely distributed in the Columbia River Basin. In 




Fig. 17. — Dusky dace. 



the park it has been recorded from Heart Lake and Witch Creek. 
It is useful as food for larger fishes and as bait for trout. 

o 



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